I am a poly bisexual male. I was single when I met my wife. I swore off dating other women, but nothing has been said about men. I recently reconnected with one of my ex lovers (m) and I don’t know what to do about it. I can’t talk about it with my wife. Please help.
There is nothing healthy about loopholes or technicalities in relationships. If you “swore off dating other women,” it’s very likely your wife figured you meant that you won’t date other people. Even if she knows you’re bisexual (it’s not clear from your letter whether or not she does), we live in a hetero-centric culture and you and I both know that was her entirely understandable assumption, and it was implicit in your promise not to date other women.
I’m also not sure what you mean by “reconnected” with an ex lover. Does that just mean you two are talking again, and you’re thinking you might like to get back together? Or does it mean you connected sexually/romantically? If that’s the case, you’re cheating on your wife and you should definitely not do that.
You say you “can’t” talk about it with your wife, but honestly, that’s your only option. If you’re married to someone, you really ought to be able to talk about this kind of thing with her. It takes courage and humility and risk, but you gotta do it, friend. You have to let her know that you are bi, that you still have feelings for other men, and that you’d like to be able to pursue those.
She may respond with confusion, or anger, or betrayal. She may even want to leave the relationship immediately. You can’t control her response. But hopefully you two can talk this out in a healthier way. She may say that she’s absolutely not okay with that and only wants to be with someone entirely monogamous. In that case, you’ll need to decide whether you want to stay in a relationship on those terms, or whether you’ll need to leave.
If you decide not to talk to her, which I don’t recommend, you’re essentially choosing to just accept those terms indefinitely. If you’re so convinced she’ll react badly that you want to keep your bisexual, polyamorous desires secret, that will be a painful secret to keep, but you could do it. But that means you will need to manage your own impulses around this ex and any other people you’re attracted to - you absolutely can’t just go out and cheat on your wife. Either commit to the discipline and sacrifice of monogamy, or commit to the discipline and sacrifice of having tough conversations. That’s right - both options take discipline and sacrifice! Choosing to be undisciplined and selfish instead is not okay.